Social Determinants of Psychiatric Morbidity Among Malaysian Children

  • Ali Adli
  • YT Ooi
  • YL Tan Isaac
  • WY Ho Katrina
  • HM Chai
  • Seet Ruijia
  • KW Teh
  • KH Wong
Conference paper


Psychiatric morbidity is one of the important causes of disease burden worldwide with overall prevalence of 20.3 % in children population of Malaysia (3rd National Health & Morbidity Survey, 2006). Social influences are known to impart great effects on the outcome of individual health, resulting in health disparities. This study was conducted to review the prevalence and to identify the social determinants of psychiatric morbidity among children in Malaysia. Two hundred forty school children and adolescents between 5 and 16 years of age answered the Reported Questionnaire for Children (RQC) to assess the children’s mental health. There were 102 children (42.5 %) with childhood psychiatric morbidity, with higher prevalence among females (25.8 % vs. 15.7 %). The prevalence rate was twofold higher when compared to the previous prevalence of 20.3 %. In their association with social determinants, the respondents’ ethnicity, Indians were found to be afflicted the most (p = <0.01), followed by Bajaus and Dusuns. There was also a significant association between the caretakers’ marital status to caseness (p = <0.05). The financial status of caretakers (p = <0.05) and sound pollution (p = <0.05) have significant roles in contributing to the prevalence of childhood psychiatric morbidity. Health behaviour (p = <0.05) and number of children per household (p = <0.05) were also significantly associated with children suffering from psychiatric morbidity. Multilevelled approaches are to be taken which include plans on elevating the socio-economic status of high-risk population and improve access and use of psychiatric management, screening programmes and community intervention programmes.


Mental Health Service Health Disparity Social Determinant Psychiatric Morbidity Income Class 
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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ali Adli
    • 1
  • YT Ooi
    • 1
  • YL Tan Isaac
    • 1
  • WY Ho Katrina
    • 1
  • HM Chai
    • 1
  • Seet Ruijia
    • 1
  • KW Teh
    • 2
  • KH Wong
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of MedicineUniversiti KebangsaanKebangsaanMalaysia
  2. 2.Faculty of MedicineUniversiti Malaysia SabahSabahMalaysia

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